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  • Car Accident Liability

    we are in a little bit a of a pickle and we would like to hear the opinion of the community

    We are in NY (equal liability state), my car was hit in a car accident that was not my fault, which was reflected as such on the police report. However, the other party presented a different story to the insurance company that does not match the description on police report. As we both have Allstate and that I only have liability coverage on this car, the insurance company wants to settle 50/50, despite of the police report completely in my favor.

    We curbsided a lawyer who recommended working it out with the insurance company as "the juice is not worth the squeeze".

    We have since spoke to the insurance company, and they are not budging. Here's my concerns. If I accept this settlement, am I liable for the other person's damage/medical bill and thus makes me 50% liable if there's future legal implications? Alternatively, if I salvage the car (repair estimate 5k, vehicle worth about 6k) or take the guy to small claim court, would it be worthwhile?

    I'm not sure what is the best course of action. I would like to hear everyone's opinion.

    Thank you in advance,

  • #2
    Dont settle unless you are sure you know what you are doing. I have no experience with this but , like most would do , get a cervical collar and go to a lawyer. I am sure you can find a juice squeezer in NY

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    • #3
      I won't try to dig into how you should deal with your New York personal injury laws because you simply need to talk to another lawyer. I agree with Random1 on all points except I wouldn't bother with a cervical collar (that made me smile though). The first lawyer might be mostly right, and while your case may not be one worth going to trial over, or even getting into prolonged settlement negotiations for, you still shouldn't ever sign something unless you know what you're doing. It's worth paying the right lawyer if you need to in order to understand your options.

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      • #4
        It’s been a few years since I adjusted, but I recall that NY is a pure liability state - meaning you can collect for the percentage that you’re not at fault.

        I’d push your insurance more about why they’re assigning liability to you. In my opinion, 50/50 is always a cop out, but there usually is some apportioned liability.

        Depending on their rationale, then I’d consider my next move. If you were on a cell phone or also merging, 50% might be close. If you were stopped and struck from behind, I’d challenge it.

        Department of Insurance complaints are a powerful tool to escalate your file. I’ve seen managers overturn things when they begin a file review and response to the DOI.

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